Case study HR1-3: Responsible sourcing summit

Late last year, Electrolux and its partner BSR arranged a sustainability leadership summit in Shenzhen, China. About 40 major Chinese component and sourcing suppliers were invited to find out more about the Electrolux sustainability strategy.

The Electrolux sustainability leadership summit in Shenzen, China, kicked off with a video welcome from CEO Keith McLoughlin highlighting opportunities for businesses driving sustainability. His message was clear: suppliers are expected to live by the Electrolux Code of Conduct and any product carrying the Electrolux brand - whether manufactured at an Electrolux site or a supplier’s – must come from a place with the same high standards for environmental and working conditions.

High standards require commitment and dedication and they deliver business benefits too. The Electrolux Code of Conduct helps suppliers and the Group stay ahead of stakeholder expectations and attract and retain a productive workforce.

One topic of the day, presented by Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), was the importance of better worker-management communication for building more harmonious labor relations. Developing an attractive workplace is increasingly important in China where labor shortages of both skilled and unskilled workers and high turnover rates are driving competition for the best employees.

Retailer insight

Electrolux is by no means the only company asking suppliers to raise their standards. Two representatives from Walmart were invited to share their insights on expectations of suppliers and sub-suppliers. They also offered valuable experience from their successful energy-efficiency program introduced among 200 sourcing units in China.

Building on the energy-efficiency theme, Electrolux presented its new energy-reporting standard for major suppliers. Providing energy performance data will highlight the benefits of improved energy efficiency and meet stakeholder expectations concerning carbon-footprint disclosure.